Everlasting peace

From the time of Father Adam to present day, mankind has been vexed by the wickedness authored by the father of all lies, Satan.

With the increase in terrorism and the threat of nuclear exchanges, these are particularly perplexing times. Yet, the solution to dealing with the challenges of any age is the same — following the path trod by the Prince of Peace, the Savior of all mankind.

The way is not always easy but the reward is eternal. Those who follow the Savior's admonition — "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15) — receive not the peace of the world but the everlasting peace of the Master.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27.)

Speaking of the challenges of almost 30 years ago, President Harold B. Lee, in his final conference address, appropriately titled "Closing Remarks," talked about the need to stay close to the Savior.

"Where else can you go for guidance? Where is there safety in the world today? Safety can't be won by tanks and guns and the airplanes and atomic bombs. There is only one place of safety and that is within the realm of the power of Almighty God that He gives to those who keep His commandments and listen to His voice, as He speaks through the channels that He has ordained for that purpose." (October 1973 general conference, as reported in the January 1974 Ensign.)

President Lee, who passed away on Dec. 26, 1973, just a little over two months after that session of conference, then uttered these inspired words:

"And so, in the closing moments of this conference, I have been moved as I think I have never been moved before in all my life. If it were not for the assurance that I have that the Lord is near to us, guiding, directing, the burden would be almost beyond my strength, but because I know that He is there, and that He can be appealed to, and if we have ears to hear attuned to Him, we will never be left alone."

President Lee's final words bear witness of the divinity of the Lord's work and serve as a comfort to those who are now and those who will be His disciples:

"Peace be with you, not the peace that comes from the legislation in the halls of congress, but the peace that comes in the way the Master said, by overcoming all the things of the world. That God may help us so to understand and may you know that I know with a certainty that defies all doubt that this is His work, that He is guiding us and directing us today, as He has done in every dispensation of the gospel, and I say that with all the humility of my soul, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen."

President Gordon B. Hinckley gave similar counsel in a First Presidency message titled "Living with Our Convictions," a little over a year ago. (Ensign, September 2001.)

He recalled being with President Lee in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. "We could sense, if only in a very small degree, the terrible struggle that took place there, a struggle so intense, as Jesus wrestled alone in the spirit, that blood came from every pore." (Luke 22:44 and Doctrine and Covenants 19:18.)

President Hinckley stated that "while there may be heartache, even heartbreak," for Latter-day Saints today, "there can be peace and comfort and strength from the Lord for those who follow Him.

"Let us rejoice in the knowledge that although we are to stand with courage as we travel through mortality and even through our trials, God will not leave us without His guidance and sustaining power."

President Hinckley concluded by stating that those who go forward in righteousness and walk in truth and in faith and in love "will be upheld and strengthened by the Lord."

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